Blue Elephant Theatre
The relationship between land and sea and the characters that inhabit both are explored in this haunting tale; beautifully told through Limbik's production of The Harbour.
Under the superb direction of Ben Samuels, this imaginative one act production combines many story telling techniques to take the audience on a journey to a non-specific harbour town where we are drawn into the lives of the inhabitants.
One could easily imagine being told this story, huddled around the fire in a small harbour pub by a local fisherman who was told the tale by his grandfather many years ago and the intimate nature of the tale is beautifully retained in this telling.
With minimal props the story moved effortlessly from the harbour to a bathroom to a factory as crates doubled up as a bed, a sink, a deck and funnily enough crates for the fish. Wellington boots were also transformed into a shoal of fish swimming in perfect symmetry across the stage.
The impressive and skilful ensemble who devised The Harbour were as flexible as their props. It can often be difficult to integrate dialogue with a physical performance as one discipline can conflict with the other; however The Harbour united both perfectly. With especially touching performances from Sarah Johnson (Sally) and Juan Ayala as her frustrated husband, Beto, this was ultimately an actor's piece. However, the physical nature of the performance enhanced the story, creating as much energy and passion as the ocean itself.
A haunting soundtrack performed by Sarah Moody on the cello accompanied the performance. Seated at the edge of the space, one was aware of her presence yet was never distracted as her stunning score served only to enhance the emotions on stage.
Aside from the odd moment where it lacked pace slightly it is hard to believe that this performance of The Harbour is still a work in progress as this nautical tale is absolutely ready to set sail.
Reviewer: Rachel Sheridan